Corruption dents India’s global image: PM


New Delhi : Corruption dents India’s image, hampers good governance and needs to be tackled “boldly and quickly”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday.

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“Corruption strikes at the roots of good governance. It is an impediment to faster growth. It dilutes, if not negates, our efforts at social inclusion,” Manmohan Singh said, two days after former communications minister A. Raja was arrested for his suspected role in the 2G spectrum scam, billed as the country’s biggest to date.

“It dents our international image and it demeans us before our own people,” the prime minister said, addressing the second annual conference of chief secretaries of states here.

He said the challenge of corruption needed to “be faced frontally, boldly and quickly”.

His government has been under attack over the 2008 2G telecom spectrum licence allotment, irregularities in the organising of the Delhi Commonwealth Games and irregular allocation of apartments in an elite Mumbai housing society, which was meant for the families of war heroes.

The opposition wants a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G scandal.

In his address, Manmohan Singh referred to the group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee.

“We have set up a group of ministers to look into all measures, legal or administrative, to tackle this menace,” he said adding that two bills have already been introduced in parliament relating to judicial accountability and the protection of whistleblowers.

“Along with legislation, the necessary revamp of administrative practices and procedures needs to be fast-tracked. A systemic response that reduces opportunities for corruption needs to be put in place,” Manmohan Singh said.

Along with legislation, he asserted, “a systemic response needs to be put in place to reduce opportunities for corruption”.

“It is now well documented that the introduction of competition, greater choice and modern technology can cut down the opportunities for corruption in a very meaningful manner,” he said.

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V. Narayanasamy, in his address to the two-day conference, stressed that an “ethics infrastructure consisting of transparency, accountability and integrity is a keystone of good governance”.